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MK2 XR2 Zetec Track Car Project Diary

Jamie Rigby

Author: Jamie Rigby | Photographer: Jamie Rigby

Oulton park trackday

p>I just got back from Oulton, pretty tired although I only managed to drive around 6-7 full-on laps all day. Went out for the first session, Oil got upto 140degrees after 1 warm up and 1 full-on lap, was pretty gutted tbh so i just thought it'd be best to come in and let the car cool down and see what it was like next time. When i came in and lifted the bonnet noticed coolant pissing out all over the gearbox from the thermostat housing, so took the thermostat housing off, re-siliconed the gaskets then refitted it, also whilst the coolant was drained I previously blanked off the bottom part of the thermostat housing to save running a hose right past the exhaust manifold and to the lower rad hose, but then i thought it could be building up pressure so thought so then as i tooka load of coolant hoses and jubilee clips luckily had a T-piece too i added in that extra hose then bled all the system, happy days, no more leaks. Then i noticed oil on the floor, from where my breather hoses were pointing and kinda pointing towrads the nearside wheel arch, then i looked and noticed oil EVERYWHERE in the wheel arch, I was pretty annoyed at this point considering I'd only done 1 full on lap in the first two hours of the day, so then got a 1 litre container to act as a catch tank, so that sorted that out. After 2-2 1/2hrs of pissing about I headed out just before dinner, but still can only do 2 laps max before the oil temperature was creeping the red on the gauge, so just had to keep doing that all day. After I came back in after that session looked in the catch tank and noticed it had 1/2 a litre in it already after like 2 full on laps, maybe just down to the temp of the oil and how thin it got or what but still 1/2 a litre after 5mins hard driving!? so as i said only managed probs 6-7 full on laps all day as i thought i wanna drive home tonight so next ont he list is an oil cooler and some thicker oil, thinking of some 10w40 would be ideal.

Had some fun having a play with the tyre pressures and damper settings tho learnt abit more about my car, and the R888s are awesome but not worth 80quid a tyre imo! I also weighed the car, it had 3/4 tank of fuel in (so around 25litres/25kgs) and with the r888s on which are around 5kgs a tyre heavier than your normal road tyres, the car weighed in at 768kgs which I thought is pretty light. That's basically with little fuel in and road tyres around 725kgs, so 725kgs/172 bhp = 237bhp/tonne.

Post track day clean up

I just put the road wheels/tyres back on and cleaned all the oil up from inside the nearside wheel arch, I noticed on the way home that the trackings been knocked slightly out, dont know why all the track rod ends/ball joints/ARBs/lower arms are all tight so maybe need to invest on a new rack. I ordered a Mocal 13-row oil cooler, thermostatic sandwich plate, fitings and pipe etc, should have that early next week.

Trackday pics

some pics from yesterday:

A nice present

Woke up with a nice present that had arrived this morning:

I went to Ford to order a new sump gasket yesterday too, going to pick that up shortly and get some new oil and filter, then will fit it when the Oil cooler etc arrives at Jons.

No oil cooler yet

Oil coolers still not arrived yet.

More pics from wednesday:

Baffled Sump fitting

Thought I'd crack on and fit the baffled sump, hopefully the oil cooler will be here soon, maybe even today we'll see, so Drained the oil, then disconnected the exhaust system:

Next I disconnected the battery and disconnected the starter motor, exhaust manifold then removed the sump:

Then fitted the baffled sump which was an absolute nightmare because of the baffle plates, they kept hitting the pick up pipe so i ended up having to disconnect the alternator to get the clearance, here it is all fitted and back together:

All done now just gotta wait till the oil cooler and thermostatic sandwich plate arrive then ill fit them. I came up with a nice idea of where to mount the oil cooler so ive taken the bumper off ready, I think it looks mean without it, haha

The oil cooler is here

I picked the oil cooler up last night so managed to get it fitted whilst dodging the rain earlier.

Take one piece of Meccano:

One 13-row oil cooler:

Sandwich plate and new CVH oil filter fitted:

Piped up, it was a nightmare but got there in the end with pushing the fittings on, having put them in boiling water

Then started the car check the sump gasket and all the fittings etc etc, not one leak im proud to say altho when i started the car there was a loud ticking noise and all of a sudden the dipstick shot up, so pulled it out and it was bent at the end and must have hit the baffle plate and was fouling the crank when the engine was running, so chopped abit of the dipstick off so now i have no dipstick below minimum.

Random pic of the engine bay:

Then I chopped the rest of behind the bumper out using a hacksaw blade:

This is how it looks all fitted and back together:

I've put the number plate in the windscreen for now, thinking about getting a stickered one on the front of the bonnet but that can wait for now.

Small bump

Time for a wee update, I had some major bad luck tonight, going down a dual carriage way I braked for the roundabout and locked up, so i lifted off to stop the wheels locking up to try and free them and they stayed locked up couldnt do anything about it and just slid into the kerb on the right then kinda bounced to the other side of the road, hit that kerb then went into the kerb on the roundabout. I really dont see how the brakes locked up and wouldnt free up, thats the scary part, a mate recons its because I never pressed the clutch in and the box locked!? Oh and to make it even better car overheated too at the same time, not sure how or where from, just coolant pissing out everywhere when I eventually came to a stop, heartbroken to say the very least.

Damage from looking in the dark atm looks like:

  1. bent rear beam
  2. maybe bent arms and panrod bar
  3. one pepperpot complete mangled
  4. 2 tyres
  5. maybe the offside rear shock bent

I just hope to god theres no chassis damage again

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Page Last Updated: Saturday 18th of May 2024